Extra: John Whittingdale out; Formagination winners

In today's 'Extra,' UK PM Theresa May sacks John Whittingdale (pictured) as culture secretary, while Armoza Formats reveals Formagination winners and A+E Networks commissions a worldwide factual crime series from IWC Media.
July 14, 2016

UPDATED: UK culture secretary John Whittingdale exits post, replaced by Karen Bradley

Conservative UK MP John Whittingdale (pictured) has been removed from his post as secretary of culture, media and sport following a realignment of the UK government’s cabinet under recently appointed Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Maldon MP endured a strenuous relationship with the UK’s media industry during his time in office, particularly after undertaking a review of the BBC and its license fee. Whittingdale later published a white paper on the Beeb outlining proposed changes to the corporation that brought forth commercial subsidiary BBC Studios while introducing further financial scrutiny of the pubcaster.

Whittingdale’s dismissal comes 14 months after he replaced Sajid Javid, who became business secretary, and follows the exit of justice secretary Michael Gove and education secretary Nicky Morgan from the UK parliament.

Former minister for security Karen Bradley has been named to replace Whittingdale as secretary of culture, media and sport in Theresa May’s cabinet. She has served as an MP for Staffordshire-Moorlands since 2010, responsible for preventing abuse, exploitation and crime.

“Fake or Real” wins sixth annual Formagination competition

Israeli comedian Miki Geva’s Fake or Real has won the sixth annual Armoza Formats-hosted format competition Formagination, which looks to create an “international launching pad” for Israeli creativity. The primetime celebrity entertainment format received the first place prize of a development and distribution contract with Armoza Formats and up to US$30,000 to produce the format.

Taking the competition’s runner-up prize was sexologist Dr. Shelly Varod for her social experiment series Sex Tape. She also receives a scholarship to the international Entertainment Master Class seminar. Meanwhile, columnist Tomer On received the people’s vote for his factual entertainment format I Don’t Know You, Dad.

Formagination finalists each presented their format in front of a panel of international judges, including Erik de Winter, head of The Format Lab; Zivit Davidovitch, VP of content at Channel 10; Lucy Chen, director of international business at Winhall Media; and Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats.

A+E Networks orders global factual crime series

A+E Networks has commissioned Banijay UK-owned IWC Media to produce a worldwide factual crime series set to premiere globally on Crime + Investigation.

The 8 x 60-minute Robbie Coltrane’s Critical Evidence follows the Cracker actor as he examines how forensic science and evidence is used in investigations around mystifying murder cases. The series will also utilize reconstruction and archival footage to determine how each method has come about.

IWC Media’s Ross Harper serves as executive producer. The series was commissioned by Koulla Anastasi, program director at Crime + Investigation UK and global brand lead for Crime + Investigation Channels internationally.

The series, which is expected to premiere in late 2016 in the UK, will broadcast across CI throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Australasia. A+E Networks will handle all distribution.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.